Gunnuhver Viewing Platforms

Photo Credit Icon Júlia Brekkan

Gunnuhver Viewing Platforms

  • Icon for path Path

Gunnuhver is a geothermal area that stands in the heart of Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark where the North Atlantic ridge rises from the ocean. The area is powerful due to volcanic activity and earthquakes and can therefore change without notice.

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    Cities and towns

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    National parks

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    UNESCO sites

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    UNESCO global geoparks

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    Main roads

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    Cruise ports

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  • infrastructure


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    Paved road

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    Walking path

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    Sand / Gravel

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    Geothermal area

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    Moss / Vegetation

Graphic map, large.Architecture and landscape illustration.

Ever-changing landscape 

The area is very fragile and can change without notice, due to volcanic activity and earthquakes. The area is within the water conservation and the Environment Agency's natural heritage register.

Material choice for fragile nature

Gunnuhver is a geothermal area in a beautiful landscape where visitors can travel around on pathways and wooden platforms. The platforms are made from larch and are chosen to resemble existing natural materials. The main emphasis was to prevent the area from unnecessary damage, where disturbed areas should be rehabilitated with local vegetation and material.

Due to constant changes in the area, a steaming of the ground increased markedly as a consequence of a pressure drawdown in the geothermal reservoir upon the start of production from the reservoir in 2006. In 2010, new pathways and viewing platforms were put into use where there is access for everyone today. It is interesting to look into what materials and solutions are best suited for an ever-changing landscape such as Gunnuhver.

Key facts

  • Location

    Gunnuhver, Reykjanes Geopark, SW Iceland

  • GPS points

    N63° 49' 09" W22° 41' 05"

  • Protection Framework

    UNESCO Global Geopark

  • Estimated number of visitors a year

    An average of 60,000 visitors per year

  • High season

    500 visitors per day on average

  • Low season

    100 visitors per day on average

  • Project Owner

    Brimketill is a state property located in the Grindavík area, managed by Reykjanes Geopark

  • Designer

    Landark Landscape Architects

  • Year of construction

    From 2006

  • Materials

    Mainly larch

  • Grants

    ISK 18,500,000 from the Tourist Site Protection Fund in 2017 and ISK 14,000,000 from The National Plan for the Development of Infrastructure in 2019